FAG again

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Mar 8 20:56:34 UTC 2001

> But as for FAG, Jesse's examples simply support my case.

Ron, in my last letter I said that you were presenting your opinions as
facts and then using these "facts" to level a charge of inaccuracy
against me.

In reality, the problem is that you are arguing a straw man, not
what I actually wrote. Looking over your current letter, it seems
to me that you are saying exactly what I said in my article, but
you are then criticizing me for something you _think_ I'm saying
but which I don't say.

Here is the full sentence of my Times piece: "More recently, we have
seen a variety of disparaging terms adopted with pride, from 'fag'
and 'dyke' by homosexuals, to 'crone' and 'hag' by members of some
neo-pagan groups." (I'll point out as an aside that I have been
criticized by a woman who told me that "crone" is in fact more widely
used than just among neo-pagan groups.)

> As Jesse concedes, all of these writers [of the example quotes I
> posted in my last letter] are self-referencing.

This is hardly a "concession"; since this is exactly what I said in my
article I don't have to "concede" this.

> All of his examples are merely illustrations of the general rule
> that members of a minority group may self-reference with even the
> most terrible slur as a kind of solidarity-building social
> acknowledgment (if Jesse doesn't want to call this "ironic
> self-reference" that doesn't change the way it functions).  This in
> NO WAY indicates amelioration.

Once again, this is exactly what I said in my piece. I DID NOT say
that "fag" is ameliorating in the population at large.

Ron goes on to hypothesize about what sort of citation would indicate
amelioration, and so forth. This is again beyond the scope of what I
say, however interesting it may be in its own right.

Jesse Sheidlower

More information about the Ads-l mailing list